Friday, March 21, 2014

“Breaking” News

Is the fact that there is no news about the missing plane really “breaking news!?” Granted, I spent four of the last eight days scampering across a desert landscape looking at rocks, mountains, and patterns in the sand to see the geology that I have been studying, so to me this news would be new, but really? “Breaking News!?”

There has been practically nothing new happen in the investigation since before I headed down to Palm Springs. So why is it that CNN spent twenty minutes on Tuesday morning interrupting things that could arguably be called ‘news’ for updates of the ilk that logically parse out to “we’ve learned nothing new for the past few days”?

Were it anybody but CNN (a formerly outstanding news source) I would not have believed the interview I saw early Tuesday morning. CNN actually spent twenty minutes interviewing a pilot of a plane that wasn’t hijacked a dozen years ago. The entire interview was parsed as speculation as to what the crew of the missing plane might have been experiencing if the plane as hijacked.

It happened again this morning. An exorbitant amount of time was spent playing guessing games as to what (if anything) the blurry images of ‘debris’ (?) spotted five days ago might be. How is this breaking news? It happened days ago; it is yet to be verified; and it is still an unknown! It fails every test that used to be applied in the decision making on what should be called ‘news.’

I know that I give a lot of grief to Faux News for just making stuff up and claiming that it is true, but this is really a new low for CNN. I understand that they have to fill 24-hours with “news” and that it is cheaper to speculate than to report, but this was really beyond the pall. My old journalism professor must be (to steal a line from my mom) mad enough to spit tacks over this! I know that I am. I am voting with my remote – I guess I will be searching (in vain, perhaps) somewhere else for broadcast news.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you’ll take a stand against speculation as journalism!

Don Bergquist – March 21, 2014 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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